Former Leicester City FC striker Iain Hume feels that the Indian Super League (ISL) is helping young Indian players make a career for themselves in football, driven by the investments made by the clubs and the league.
The 2016 ISL winner with ATK FC believes that this is a massive leap from the state of players in the country a decade ago and the monetary influx in India’s premier league is only going to benefit the country’s position in global football, much like it does with Europe”s top leagues.
“People say top European leagues are only money-driven but that”s only because they are the best leagues in the world, if they were not, nobody would invest. It”s the times we are in. Same for the ISL, to make a career out of football, you have to take the chances that come. If you get offered a big contract, you have to take it. I have witnessed this especially in India. It is giving a lot of young Indian players a chance to make a career out of football,” Hume said in a Facebook Live with Sportskeeda.
“Indian players never used to have that opportunity. Even back as far as the first or the second ISL, players were finishing ISL, going and working in an office or a job. Now, they are getting the opportunity to play football for six-eight months of the season, and instead of going to the office, they can do coaching in an academy, there”s that opportunity,” he said.
“Although we speak of European football having far too much money, the ISL is at a point where they have money to be able to offer careers, rather than just eight months. I think that is perfect and that”s the way to catch up with the rest of Asia and world football. It”s brilliant the way they are doing it right now,” added the Canadian striker, who is one of the most successful players in the history of ISL.
Hume has turned out for three ISL clubs, namely Kerala Blasters, ATK and FC Pune City, and scored 28 goals in 69 appearances after spending most of his career in the Championship in England.
The 36-year-old also is of the opinion that the ISL is moving progressively both financially and structurally which augurs well for Indian football.
“They are learning a lot of things as they go along, that”s been evident, but they have been bettering things. It”s always progressing. There is not much of a standstill. Everything is going forward positively. That is great for ISL and even better for Indian football.”